On the first day of summer, I made a to-do list for each of my four children. I did it again the day after that. And the day after that. And so on. The first few days were exciting. The kids loved checking the box by “make bed” and “brush teeth.” I gradually added more difficult tasks like “clean the basement.” The excitement started to wear off. Which didn’t stop me from making their lists every day. This morning, I told all four of them they could make their own to-do lists. They could pick five chores and be captain of their own ship, master of their fate. Six-year-old Carson listed “Practice riding bike” and “Jump on the tramp.” Not exactly what I had in mind. If I had a “rewind” button, I would have changed my words to: “I’ll pick five chores and you pick five chores today. That’s 10 possible boxes to check off!!! Talk about summer lovin’!! You see, I’m a chronic list-maker. My condition is at its peak when I’m at home, where I change hats all day long (not literally — I don’t have the right face shape for hats). Today I made a list of 19 things I need to do including “write article about Nu Skin distributor” and “process 100 e-mails from my inb0x” and “clean my nightstand.” I also listed the estimated time to complete each task. It added up to 9 hours 45 minutes. Do-able. But I didn’t factor in my cool neighbor stopping by to return my reflective vest. (I bought it for the Ragnar Relay Wasatch Back, but then a stress fracture gave me the boot — literally.) We chatted. That’s 30 minutes I hadn’t accounted for. Maybe I should put it on my to-do list so I can cross it off. I also didn’t plan to sneak in a few pages of “The Help,” a book my friend loaned me yesterday. Reading is easier than writing. Another 30 minutes unaccounted for.

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